WHAT WE DO
Our mission is to transform lives through music. We’re specialists in working with young people in challenging circumstances to help them reach their full potential in music, in learning, and in life.
Many young people miss out on making music – particularly those who could benefit the most. We want to put that right.
We work with young people to engage them through music, build confidence, self-belief and motivation, and so empower them to improve their life chances.
Where we work
in primary, secondary and special schools, Alternative Schools Provision, Hospital Education
outside of education, in our studios in Cheltenham, Cinderford and Gloucester; in Saturday morning music tech and band sessions in and out of schools; and through one-off workshops, courses and through one-off workshops, courses and events.
What we do
Our core programmes fall into the following strands:
small group or one-to-one music mentoring – in school setting or studio.
whole class music technology 10-week programmes for primaries and secondaries
special schools bespoke 10-20 week programmes
after school and weekend music groups/sessions – in or out of schools
strategic music development – in partnership with schools (joint visions and action plans for music); and as part of the county’s music education hub (inclusion strategy, primary schools music consultancy)
one-off workshops eg: spoken word.
courses and events (eg festivals, music industry seminars, short courses)
we can also provide accreditation eg through Arts Award and BTEC programmes
We also pilot new approaches to transforming lives through music, such as our current ‘self-harm’ songwriting and singing project in secondary schools.
The music that works
The music we make depends on young people’s interests:
We help young people to make the music that they’re passionate about – whether that’s pop, rock, urban, indie, blues, metal, dance, techno, hip-hop, punk, dubstep, reggae or many other types.
We also use a range of musical instruments, from keyboards to guitar to Djembe drums – depending on young people’s own interests and abilities.
We specialise in music technology and production, singing and songwriting, rap and beatboxing – as we’ve found these are most accessible and achieve the best outcomes.
We find that when people are supported to make the music they love, amazing things happen.
HOW WE DO IT
Read more about our approach and how we achieve our aims.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
See what people have to say about their experience of working with us.
SUSIE SAYS …
“Sam and Jake absolutely love the workshops. They come away buzzing every Saturday, always having learned something new and feeling inspired. We’re seeing both boys growing in confidence and ambition, and they’ve made new like-minded friends too. The workshops have ‘perked up’ the weekends no end and it’s not quite such a battle to encourage them to get homework done, once they’ve released some of their creative energy!”
Susie Newman-Turner, mum to Sam and Jake who attend Audio-Base in Tetbury.
ALESHA SAYS …
“The tutor has shown us how we can make our own music, and we can record it. You can jam with people. You can’t do this anywhere else.”
Alesha Maguire-Toombs, aged 12.
SAFFIRA SAYS …
“You can just jam with each other, it’s fun, you get to learn a lot off the tutors, you get inspiration.They know everything, and can give us tips.”
Saffira Maguire-Toombs, aged 12.
DEIRDRE SAYS …
“I am so elated, because finally there is something for young people playing in this genre. You have orchestras and brass bands, but there’s been nowhere for kids playing popular music to get together. They don’t really get opportunities to experiment with different instruments and ways of making music, and having the technology side is great. And the music leaders are lovely, they’re very open and very generous in how they deal with students.”
Deirdre Maguire-Toombs, mum to Saffira and Alesha, aged 12, who attend Audio-Base in Forest of Dean.
NICOLA SAYS …
“The Music Works enabled our most vulnerable students to express themselves freely and confidently. All 28 students absolutely loved blending rap and poetry together, and it was great to see our students enjoy writing and creating poetry. This session was truly inspiring and our students took so much away from it: confidence, engagement with writing and self-worth.”
Nicola Toohig, English Teacher, Archway School.
SUE SAYS …
“The year 6 children from Chesterton Primary School, Cirencester, had a wonderful time combining music and technology. Even our most reluctant musicians are finding out about time signatures, chords and composition as they enjoyed exploring GarageBand on the iPad.”
Sue Dearsley, class 6 teacher, Chesterton Primary School.
DIANE SAYS …
“It achieved all we wanted it to: understanding of musical concepts as well as composition – often the hardest thing to deliver. It was successful too in engaging ALL pupils through music. We have a few in year 5 that have behavioural issues, ADHD, family members with mental health problems- so they find concentration and engagement really hard, but they were completely. I think it has changed their perception of themselves, how they feel about music and what they can achieve.”
Diane Bainbridge, Headteacher, Whiteshill Primary (nr Stroud).
HOWARD SAYS …
“Our students literally jumped to join the sessions when it was their turn. It seemed to really boost their self-esteem and sense of achievement, they worked really well together and supported each other throughout, they had lots of ideas and rose to the challenges presented. Your music leader was always well prepared, on time and enthusiastic, he seemed able to deal with whatever we threw at him – he was always prepared to go the extra mile.”
Howard Eason, Heart of the Forest Special School.
GARETH SAYS …
“During my time at the school I have been delighted with the progress made and subsequently the opportunities provided by The Music Works. I am keen to continue to build on this relationship to provide a legacy for a high quality music curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities. Their work is providing a tangible music presence in the school. The value and positive impact this has made and will continue to make to the school and community is really exciting.”
Gareth Reynolds, Associate Head,The Forest High School.
ANNALISE SAYS …
“Music technology is particularly good for engaging young people who are switched off to learning. The staff have a way of working with even the most anxious pupils that brings out the best in them – they’re highly skilled in music themselves and inspire young people to aim higher. They’re very professional – collaborative, thoughtful and reliable. They really care about the outcomes for each pupil and this belief and care in each pupil helps to produce great results.”
Annalise Price-Thomas, Head of Service, Gloucestershire Hospital Education Service